Letter: Depression drugs

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Sir: Deborah Orr ("Stressed out. Blissed out", 24 February) expresses with eloquence the frustration and despair of many who suffer from depression, and who are offered drugs as a first option. Often dismissed as "the worried well", many suffering from the lack of energy and motivation that Ms Orr describes are prescribed anti-depressants. However, many GP surgeries now have an in-house counsellor, and their services tend to be underrated.

When counsellors are appointed in surgeries they soon find themselves with waiting lists - and there is not enough funding in the NHS to meet the needs of those who wish to talk in a confidential setting rather than set out on the path of drugs. As with Lewis Wolpert ("Finding the exit from hell", 20 February), some find a combination of drugs and therapy the way out but for many a few sessions with a skilled professional listener can transform their lives.

KATE NOWLAN

Director, Wessex Counselling Service, Frome, Somerset

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